Men of Courage Barbershop Challenge and Men of Change Exhibit Heads to Tacoma, Washington

Barbershop challenge and traveling Smithsonian exhibit aim to reinforce positive narratives around African American men

Adult male in Goodfellas Barbershop chair getting a cut

TACOMA, Wash., Jan. 21, 2020 —
Ford Motor Company Fund is investing in the Tacoma community with the Men of Courage Barbershop Challenge—a grassroots initiative designed to implement community initiatives that educate and reinforce positive narratives around African American men.

Entrance to Goodfellas Barbershop

Over the next two months, Goodfellas Barbershop and Legends Barbershop will compete for a $10,000 grant based on their implementation of programs and initiatives that uplift their community. Both barbershops also received exclusive Men of Courage Barbershop makeovers.

The challenge is a grassroots activation designed to complement the new traveling three-year Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth. national exhibition created by Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) with support from Ford Fund. On display at the Washington State History Museum until March 15, 2020, the exhibit highlights African American men whose lives have impacted history and this country through politics, sports, science, entertainment, business religion and more.

In addition to kicking off the barbershop challenge, Ford Fund also invited African American men in Pierce County to a leadership forum at the Washington State History Museum. Participants were led through a series of workshops and discussions surrounding socio-economic mobility, personal branding and leadership. The forum concluded with a private tour of the Men of Change exhibit.

Hajj Flemings CEO and founder of Rebrand Cities presenting during leadership forum
The barbershop challenge is an extension of Ford's Men of Courage program—an initiative aimed at building communities by advancing the narrative of black men through storytelling, intergenerational forums and community programs. The barbershop challenge centers on a keystone in African American communities—the barbershop—and encourages shop owners to utilize their existing foundation for conversation as a launch pad to turn ideas into community outreach.

Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth., traveling Smithsonian Institution display